Monday, November 14, 2011
Going to War with the Gear You've Got....
As we go about our lives - eating, drinking and being merry - our newspaper headlines are unfolding like a poorly written end-of-the world novel. The Euro is on the brink of failure, with the dollar quickly tumbling into the abyss. Social chaos, once unthinkable, has now become commonplace. This nation, planted by free men and fertilized by the blood of patriots is being ravaged by petty tyrants spouting equality and justice. Smooth words oiled with lies provide a balm to the people while these tyrants establish for themselves empirical kingdoms - kingdoms whose very foundations crush the freedoms of men.
For those of us who see the signs of the times, all of this can be more than a little disturbing. In fact, it can be downright scary. My first inclination is to circle the wagons. I want to make sure that my house is in order. Do I have enough wheat? What about antibiotics? I'm pretty sure we could use some more olive oil. The list is endless. And then, what about our living situation? This is not where I want to be. I'd like to be a little more remote. A root cellar sure would be nice. And what about a milk cow - how can I survive the end of the world without a cow? The worries pile up, one on top of the other, until they threaten to crush me. And then I remember. You have to go to war with the gear you've got, not the gear you want.
The reality is that when our country was hewn out of the forest, it was done so with little more than a few tools and a whole lot of heart. The men and women who so desperately wanted a new life were willing to work, suffer and even die to establish a new country. They relied on God and each other to survive. They were willing to suffer, I mean really suffer, in order to secure a better life for themselves and their children. They were always cold, always exhausted, always dirty, but they soldiered on because they knew that to turn back meant to live their lives at the mercy of someone else rather than living as free men. They didn't have very much in terms of "gear", but that didn't matter. They chiseled a new world with the tools they had, not the tools they wanted.
I could come up with list after list of gear, equipment and provisions that I "need" to survive the-end-of-the-world-as-you-know-it, but the truth is, that it would never really be enough. I would never feel like I had "made it". I don't think I will ever utter the words "We're there - we don't need anything else". It is just not human nature. I can, however, go to the end of the world with what I have. I have the most important things. I have God. I have my family. I have skills, toughness and optimism. And I am not afraid to suffer.
Too many times, in our rush to prepare for an uncertain future, we stock up, pile up and store up things, but we forget what we really need to be preparing - our minds and our souls. Any of you who read this blog know that I think there is prudence in long term food storage and accumulating medical necessities and tactical gear, but, I urge you to realize that you will really never have enough of these things. You need to ready yourself for battle by preparing yourself for deprivation, for suffering and for hardship. You cannot insulate yourself from the realities of the "end of the world" with storerooms full of stuff. You will have to be able to go without and to make do.
No matter what you do, you will never have enough to last you through the end of the world. Store what you can. Learn what you can. Do what you can. Then, go to war with what you've got, not with what you want.